One of the players that seems to be constantly talked about but nothing happens about him is Willian from Shakhtar Donetsk, who is getting closer to an exit from the Ukrainian club and sent over to Chelsea, leading in the race to sign the Brazilian.
Shakhtar haven’t been really willing to part ways with the 24 year old playmaker in the previous transfer windows despite strong interest from both Chelsea and Tottenham, but recent turn of events has led to the understanding that he’s worth as much as he’ll ever be for the club, and it may be time to let him go.
One side to the story is Willian himself starting to feel maxed out with the Ukrainian champions, having won four league titles and the UEFA cup in 2009; Shakhtar coach Mircea Lucescu has expressed his displeasure with him for failing to return from Brazil on time for the club’s winter training camp.
Another side is the Ukrainian league leaders signing another Brazilian that Chelsea were after, Taison from Metalist, for £12.4 million last week, leading many to expect at least one of the Shakhtar’s more dominant players to find his way out of the team in order to allow Taison a room in the lineup. Willian, the most chased after player they have and probably the most expensive (cost $19 million in 2007 from Corinthians), seems like the prime option.
Since joining the club in 2007, Willian has played in a total of 216 matches for the team and has scored 35 goals in all competitions. This season, he has scored four goals in the Champions League, including twice against Chelsea in Shakhtar’s 3-2 loss at Stamford Bridge.
The initial interest from Chelsea in Willian began when Andre Villas-Boas was the manager, which has carried over to Tottenham. The problem is that Chelsea are still interested, and can offer more money for the Brazilian, while Shakhtar are likely to kick off negotiations asking for £20 million.